Quick Thursday round up

  • An interesting profile of Robert Levy, who spearheaded the successful DC gun ban lawsuit. I met him several years ago when I was interning at Cato. A very smart and nice guy.
  • More future of the automobile, this time from CNN. The big three American automakers and their Japanese counterparts seem to be hopelessly stuck in the past and burdened with vast wastelands of legacy costs and outdated equipment. I still have hope for American cottage industry to fill some of the gap, but I expect most of the “new” ideas to come from China. My reasoning is: The single largest unrealized opportunity for efficient cars is not the propulsion, it’s in the weight of the car itself. With new advances in carbon fiber and plastics (to replace the body, windshield, axels, and so on) you can lighten the vehicle considerably while keeping safety and performance constant. Lighter vehicle=greater fuel efficiency (by whatever measure). I think the existing players have too much invested in the current scheme and will get whupped by Chinese auto manufacturers when China reaches the necessary level of industrial sophistication (my prediction, 2015).
  • Microsoft is giving away a new accounting program. I’ll have a field review in a few days.
  • A pretty cool homemade fuel cell system. Not commercially viable (yet), but a good start at the grass roots.
  • I just got John Boyd’s biography.

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